On Friday night at SXSW we attended the Startup Bus finals at the Rackspace lounge on 4th street in downtown Austin. We saw the best of the best from the teams that competed while traveling 60mph across the country, and from Mexico.
The teams competing in the finals came from the semi-finals when The Startup Bus busses parked in San Antonio on Thursday night. A Startup Bus alumni team also competed in Friday night’s finals.
They competed in front of a panel of judges which included Robert Scoble and Dave McClure.
One of the teams really impressed the judges and the nibletz team as well. In fact, Dave McClure immediately started taking pictures of the BriefSkate, skateboard with his iPhone as soon as the team put the skateboard on the stage.
BriefSkate is tackling a new issue. More and more people are resorting to skateboards, not just as a form of recreation, or to impress a bunch of hipster chicks with their skills, but for actual commuting. Turn to New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Baltimore and of course Austin and you’ll see people actually commuting to work on a skateboard.
So what has this team done to revolutionize skating? They had a skateboard built with a compartment to hold your laptop, papers, cell phones and chargers. The BriefSkate even has a handle so you can carry through the lobby at your Madison Avenue building like a brief case.
Every team had 4 minutes to pitch and 4 minutes for feedback but Scoble was so curious he gave the team an extra 30 seconds to explain just how they were able to get a product actually created in 72 hours.
The Briefskate team said on the first night they drew up the CAD drawings and emailed them off to a 3d printer. The 3D printer had to overnight the 3d mock up to the busses next overnight stop. With the 3D printed mock up in hand the team tweaked the design and shipped that off to a manufacturer in Florida, who returned the prototype via Fedex to the Rackspace headquarters so the team actually had a product.
The prototype is a little rough, it’s admittedly a little bit bigger than the team would like and the hinges are exposed as they would be on a cabinet, but nonetheless it is still a great idea that will most likely see the light of day.
Check out the video of The Startup Bus’ first product produced in three years below. And of course with a product built they already have a website up, you can find out more about BriefSkate here at briefskate.com